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Eskom, Prasa To Meet After Power Cut To WC Metrorail System

Eskom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) will meet next week to deal with payment issues.

The utility cut power supply to the Western Cape rail network on Thursday due to non-payment.

The entire service was suspended for most of the day and was only restored after the power was reinstated once the January bill was settled.

Eskom said it notified Prasa timeously about the outstanding payment before taking the hard decision to cut the power.

Prasa’s acting regional manager Raymond Maseko admitted they had cash flow problems, exacerbated by the closure of the central line due to vandalism, which accounts for 45% of monthly revenue.

“We are always in communication, including yesterday, where we said ‘Prasa is in the process of releasing funds to us, please don’t cut us’. That we had discussed at 10 am and at 11 am, they said ‘no, we’re switching off the electricity’.”

Maseko said a discussion was required regarding the payment process and times.

“The process is no longer the same. When we used to generate money, we would pay from what we made as the region and now we need to request for an allocation from national, which takes time and that’s where the challenge lies.”

The payment issue arose a day after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced in his Budget Speech that Prasa’s budget would be cut.